I had a typical episode of conjunctivitis 2 months ago with redness, pain, photophobia and mattering . I went to ophthamologist and was given Zylet for 2 weeks and no contacts for 2 weeks. Returned for follow up and was better. Started wearing contacts again and redness and swelling of eye reappeared. This has all only been in the left eye. Went back to Dr. and placed back on Zylet for 2 more weeks in addition to Cromolyn Sodium gtts. Diagnosed with GPC. I don't have the typical raised papillae but under the eyelid is inflamed. Did this for 2 weeks, again no contacts. Back to doctor and told I would have to continue the Cromolyn gtts twice/day for 4 months or longer but could return to contact lense wear using daily disposables. Now of course having redness/swelling of eye off an on. Is this typical for GPC even without the raised papillae? I thought that was the main indicator of GPC (giant papillae, hence the name). I have been wearing contacts for 24 years and have been mostly compliant with care. It seems odd it all started with typical conjunctivitis symptoms. Any ideas? Thanks. DS111
Hello dss111 There is a high probability that your problem is garden variety contact lens induced irritation. There are various stages of GPC and in the early stages the giant papillae may be abscent. Loss of contact lens tolerance (even in spite of good wearing habits) is one of the more common reasons for people seeking refractive surgery like LASIK.
The number of people wearing contacts lens successfully decreases each decade of life after the 20's. That's why you don't see many middle age or older adults wearing contact lens.
The odds are that you will need to leave your contacts out a long long time (4-6 months) then you might try daily wear disposable contacts. If that doesn't solve the problem I think you likely will need to abandon contacts.
Sorry for the bad news but this type of a history is not encouraging.
I stopped the contact lens wear again approximately one week ago. I am still using the Cromolyn Sodium gtts twice a day, but the eye continues to be red, burning and somewhat itchy. How long does it normally take for the eye to return to normal or something close to normal. It seems as if the only drops that really work to decrease the irritation has been the Zylet, but of course I can't use this indefinitely...Also, you mentioned Lasik...I have an appointment for an evaluation, but what are the odds this can be done if the eye is still red/irritated etc. Kind of disappointing given I was perfectly content in the contacts..
Leaving the contact lens out should result in the eyes feeling and looking normal in 3-4 weeks. If you're still having problems in a week, check with your eye doctor about stopping the cromolyn for a week to see if it is irritating your eyes. Sometimes it can.
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